Gareth Thomas, the first openly gay international rugby player, and James Haskell, London Wasps flanker and LGBT ally, both stopped by Sportslobster TV to discuss among other things the upcoming Sochi Olympics and the wider issue of the lack of openly gay professional athletes. Best Movies Ever reports:
When asked what his thoughts were on the questions raised about upcoming sporting events planned for countries where there are laws in place against homosexuality, such as the 2014 Russian Winter Olympics and 2022 Qatar World Cup, Thomas gave strong views: "If I was part of a squad going to these countries - I would go there as a gay man and be the best at what I was doing and prove that their laws can not stop me at being the best I can be in sport. Athletes can't have the power to make decisions as to whether to compete in countries where they tolerate homosexuality. They often only have one chance to be the best and they have worked so hard to get there that nothing should hold them back."
England and Wasps flanker, Haskell, supports these views and claims many rugby players are hiding their sexuality due to perceived stigma: "Statistically there must be gay rugby players out there but I don't know of a single one. I feel bad anyone struggles to be true to who they are, as no one should have to live a lie."
"With Gareth - being gay was just a side story, as he was just a brilliant rugby player first and foremost. I don't think most in rugby could care less whether a teammate was gay - but there are definitely boundaries where some who you call friends and teammates may look at you a different way if you come out. The fact a rugby player may say they prefer men to women does not mean it should have any relevance in sport. Certainly in rugby it is becoming more acceptable but, regardless of what people may say, there will always be preconceptions and stereotypes in the sport."
Check out a video of the two discussing gay players as well as Thomas's upcoming biopic starring Mickey Rourke AFTER THE JUMP...
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (pictured) has accepted language for a proposed 2016 ballot measure submitted by Arkansas Initiative for Marriage Equality (AIME) that would repeal the state's constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage and would bring marriage equality to the Natural State.
Back in September, McDaniel approved the wording of a proposed 2014 ballot measure by a separate group that would repeal the constitutional amendment, but wouldn't specifically call for legalizing gay marriage. The Houston Chronicle reports:
[AIME Founder Jack Weir] said he planned to help the group trying to get the gay marriage ban repeal on the ballot next year while also gathering support for his 2016 proposal. McDaniel had rejected earlier versions of Weir's proposal because it didn't address the ban currently in the constitution.
"It's going to take a lot of effort from our people and the newcomers we'll have in the next three years," he said. "I see people's hearts and minds changing every time we go to an event and talk to people. I see a big change coming in Arkansas."
Weir said he hopes to quickly begin gathering the necessary 78,133 signatures from registered voters needed to place the proposal on the ballot.
"Even though [trans fats] makes your frosting taste better, your doughnuts taste better, makes your crackers taste better, and improves their texture, their shelf stability, [the FDA] believe its bad for you. Bad for your heart. That's their conviction, the FDA. So we've got to ban it because it is bad for human health. Well if we were going to take that same reasoning, we would ban homosexuality. It is a hazard to human health."
Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...
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Star Wars Episode VII gets a release date.
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Nothing to Hide: Neil Patrick Harris-directed show opens in NYC.
Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy steps down.
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Taylor Kitsch is walking around NYC with a hockey stick.
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Director Bill Condon goes to the circus: "First up, The Fifth Estate helmer is directing a re-imagining of the cult Broadway musical Side Show at La Jolla Playhouse, featuring music by Dreamgirls composer Henry Krieger and scenic design by David Rockwell. The show officially opens Nov. 17 and runs through Dec. 15....fter that, he will begin rewriting 20th Century Fox's contemporary musical The Greatest Showman on Earth, which will star Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum."
Behind the Mormon support for ENDA: "Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who at 79 is one of the Senate’s longest-serving members, became the first Republican to signal he would reverse his opposition as the bill faced a crucial vote in committee. He voted against a similar bill the last time it came up in the Senate — 17 years ago — but changed his mind earlier this year after Gordon H. Smith, a fellow Mormon and former Republican senator, convinced him there was nothing in it that violated church doctrine."
The Hawaii House is scheduled to hold its third and final reading of the marriage equality bill today at 10 am HAST / 3 pm ET.